Archaeology

The inscription on a 3,500-year-old stone may be one of the world's oldest weather reports - and it could cause us to revise our chronology of the ancient Middle East.


The Dig for Richard III, authorized by the Leicester City Council and commissioned and paid for by Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society, unearthed a body and it was declared that of Richard III

Did the Polynesians beat Columbus to South America?

Not according to  archaeological
evidence. The new tale of migration was uncovered by analysis of ancient DNA from...chicken bones.

The ancient DNA has been used to study the origins and dispersal of ancestral Polynesian chickens, reconstructing the early migrations of people and the animals they carried with them.


The Byzantine Empire arose after the death of the Roman Emperor Constantine. To make the empire more manageable, it was split into eastern and western halves, with Rome as the seat of the west and Constantinople as the capitol of the east. Unlike Rome of the time, the Byzantine Empire coupled military might and the religious authority of the Church.

When the Roman Empire collapsed and led Europe into the Dark Ages, the Byzantine Empire continued on and it continued to modernize. You don't last for a thousand years, including holding off Muslim invaders for much of that time, without doing some things right. They finally collapsed in 1453, when Constantinople was captured by Turks. It is known as Istanbul today.
Glastonbury - Britain's Oldest Glass Town

According to Wikipedia and many other online sources the origin of the name Glastonbury is unclear.  On the contrary, it could not be more clear.

While idly thinking about a long-ago visit to Glastonbury Tor I chanced to reflect on the name Glastonbury.  What, I wondered, was the true etymology of the name.  The 'witrin' in the old Celtic name Ynys Witrin seemed to me to resemble the Latin term for glass.  The modern Welsh equivalent 'ynys gwydr' means 'glass island'.  Could the 'glas' of Glastonbury mean glass?  What then of 'ton', which so often means 'town'.  Surely the name should be Glaston or Glasbury.  Why the apparent redundancy?
In the early part of the 20th century, after we had entered the Age of Flight, a strange phenomenon in Arabia was sighted. 

Air travel had become more common and thus so did air delivery. British pilots flying from Cairo to Baghdad reported seeing ruins that no one had ever noticed before.
It's believed that humans discovered fire over a million years ago but when it became something controlled and used for daily needs is unknown.

Fire is central to the rise of human culture and a discovery by archeologists at Qesem Cave, a site near present-day Rosh Ha’ayin in the Central District of Israel, has pushed the date for  unequivocal repeated fire building over a continuous period back a little farther - back to around 300,000 years ago.

Archaeologists working at  Abydos in southern Egypt have discovered the tomb of a previously unknown pharaoh named Woseribre Senebkay — and found the first material proof of a forgotten Abydos Dynasty from around 1650-1600 B.C. 

The tomb of the previously unknown pharaoh Senebkay was discovered close to a larger royal tomb, recently identified as belonging to a king Sobekhotep, probably Sobekhotep I, circa. 1780 B.C. of the 13th Dynasty.


Volcanic rock textures and ages suggest that the painting of a mural by residents of Çatalhöyük was recording an explosive eruption of the Hasan Dagi volcano. 

Scientists analyzed rocks from the nearby Hasan Dagi volcano in order to determine whether it was the volcano depicted in the mural from ~6600 BC in the Catalhöyük Neolithic site in central Turkey.

To determine if Hasan Dagi was active during that time, scientists collected and analyzed volcanic rock samples from the summit and flanks of the Hasan Dagi volcano using (U-Th)/He zircon geochronology. These ages were then compared to the archeological date of the mural.


Learning about ancient civilizations used to mean hand-drawn maps and clunky tomes; now anyone can do it, using Google Earth and some idea of where to look and what to look for.

And Google Earth has helped create a map of an ancient Syrian trade route that shows how one city's political sway extended farther than believed. It still takes old-fashioned digging by others to have found the artifacts in the first place, but for visualization and understanding, the future is here.